Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#bookaday Week One

HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL by Robin Herrera - Lots of surprises in this one for Star Mackie (whom her classmates call Star Trashy, because she lives in a trailer). She wants to start a club at school, and has misadventures... and then she discovers poetry. Love seeing a book with kids who are drawn to poetry!

Though not ALL the kids. Here's a quote:

"No offense, Star, but sometimes Emily Dickinson makes me sleepy."


Also love the Reader's Guide in the back. Here's an item to ponder:

9. Star is inspired by Emily Dickinson's poem, "Hope," also known as "Hope is the thing with feathers," and she discusses the idea of hope with many other characters in the book. Which charter's definition of hope do you like best? How would you describe hope?

Not a ferris wheel for me... maybe a seed unfurling in darkness, a tea kettle's whistle, sheets flapping on a clothesline... still thinking. :)


JANE IN BLOOM by Deborah Lytton is a new-to-me book that follows the story of Jane just-before and just-after the loss of her sister Lizzie to an eating disorder.

One of my own loved ones has an eating disorder, so I really felt the pain in this book... and also the hope and the beauty of the growth Jane experiences after the tragedy. Lovely storytelling... More books from Deborah, please!


MINN AND JAKE by Janet Wong is a new to me verse novel. I have it on good authority that Janet was more like the Jake character, in that she couldn't catch lizards without pulling their tails off! That works great for me, because I am totally the Minn character -- I am a lizard-catching expert, and I'm happy to share that skill with a special friend. :) A delightful read about friendship, perfect for the younger middle grade set. I'm just sorry it took me so long to discover it!


I picked up THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY not knowing the author Tracy Holczer and I share not only an agent, but editor as well! It's contemporary fiction about Grace, who is grieving her mother's death. There's art and poetry and growth going on -- and some lovely passages like these:

"Writing would help me through it, just like it always had. And where I used to think that writing was like the little hole in teakettle to let out steam, I figured it was more than that. I hoped the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of words I wrote down would help me fill the empty place left by Mama and make me whole."

"Mama had always said that art was about letting yourself fly. But maybe that was just one way. Sometimes it took digging down deep and planting roots."


  1. I just heard about Hope Is A Ferris Wheel, and it does sound so good, Irene, as do the others. Glad you posted. The Secret Hum of A Daisy is being much discussed.

  2. I'm looking forward to reading "Hope Is a Ferris Wheel." I've used the Emily Dickinson poem to teach the concept (and writing) of metaphor. Even elementary schoolers understand how the poem develops a comparison between the feeling of hope and a little bird.


Your thoughts?